A Focus on Lichens and What They Need

The East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve (NNR) is special for many things, and one of them is lichens. Therefore, we were very fortunate that as part of the Festival of NNRs Granite Elements held an exhibition titled ‘Focus on Lichens: a Weekend of Art and Science‘ on 11th and 12th June at The Woodland Centre situated in Yarner Wood. Please see the summary by Clare Benson (Granitite Elements). “Lichens are all around us, but are easily overlooked. This exhibition wasRead more

Beautiful Butterfly

Yarner Wood, Bovey Valley and Trendlebere Down, located within the East Dartmoor Woods and Heaths National Nature Reserve, are fabulous hotspots for butterflies! Yarner Wood was one of the first sites to take on the annual recording of butterflies back in 1976, when the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme began. https://ukbms.org/methods Volunteer butterfly surveyors walking the Yarner Wood transect The ‘transect walk’ is quite an undertaking, requiring surveyors to walk a fixed route, in good weather, on a weekly basis betweenRead more

Pullabrook Patchwork Management

Pullabrook Wood nestles in the Bovey valley to the east of Dartmoor and maintains an intriguing combination of woodland types that are home to an important range of wild species, though this patchwork of diverse habitat isn’t totally natural. As you walk around the tracks that cut across steep slopes you may find yourself in a broadleaved coppice of native trees, followed by another, larger coppice of pure sweet chestnut. Then, on the high ground, there is a zone ofRead more

Layers of Time – A Moorland Conservation Story

Peat deposition on moorland is known to be one of the most effective forms of carbon storage, or ‘sequestration’. In its undisturbed state, peat is also a haven for unique and important wildlife but, around this priceless landscape lie layers of history and stories of human endeavour. Prehistory has been captured where the earliest farmers left signs of stone enclosures on Dartmoor that gave way to medieval field systems and villages. In one particular windswept spot, high above Ivybridge, theRead more

Yarner Wood: Open Air Laboratory and Conservation Gem

Natural England are linking up with external contributors in our blogs to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the declaration of Yarner Wood as a National Nature Reserve (NNR). Yarner Wood, made ancient by the crucial relationship between trees and fungi, has seen many shifting attitudes towards it across it’s long past. In recent centuries, up to 1952, these beautiful woodlands were owned as part of the Yarner Estate. During this time, Yarner Wood was not a place of particular conservationRead more

New Year, New Tree Disease – Phytophthora pluvialis

We are all too aware of diseases and infections that can spread around the globe and, whether these infect people or plants, their transmission may have an effect on us one way or another. In recent years there have been several plant pathogens that have caused concern, including the well-publicised ‘ash dieback disease’ that is presenting a number of problems, particularly where infected trees are considered a safety risk. The latest tree disease to enter the UK has been foundRead more